welcome to nhk world "newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. here's a look at some of the stories we're following this hour. weather officials are warning of heavy rain across japan as a severe tropical storm approaches its main southern island. indonesians are choosingary new president in a tight race between two can zats with develop different leadership styles. and environmental group
is -- saying the construction could threaten an endangered mammal. weather officials warn of heavy rains across japan. typhoon neoguri has been downgraded to a severe tropical storm but it's still causing serious concern. it roared through the okinawan island chain, triggering fierce winds and downpours. the storm caused mudslides and floods in okinawa. two houses destroyed. and many others were damaged. at least 32 people were injured. authorities at one point issued evacuation advisories to more than half a million people. strong winds and high waves have disrupted flights, ferry services and elek tris did. weather officials say the storm may land on the main southern island early thursday, they say it will interact with the rainy season front and bring higher amounts of precipitation to areas in the north.
nagano prefecture recorded 70 millimeters of rainfall in an hour. a landslide there engulfed four people. one of the boys has been confirmed dead. hour meteorologist jonathan oh is here to explain neoguri's next steps in japan. >> hello, gene. we are looking at a storm that has now moved toward the east and it will continue to make its easterly trek over the next few days. the system is now pushing toward the east, the effects of the rainfall and the winds are being felt. right now the storm is moving slowly to the east at 15 kilometers per hour and the wind speeds running at 108 kilometers
per hour, the influence of the winds of over 28 kilometers per hour are continuing. as it continues to move toward the east, it will interabltd with the rainy season front and it will move to the north and covering a good portion of the northern portions of japan, again, enhancing the ring season front. when it comes to the amount of rainfall fin the next 24 hours, you'll see anywhere from 200 millimeters to 300 millimeters of rainfall. landslides, flooding are ail big concerns when it comes to the current weather setup in japan. we'll have more coming up in the world weather forecast in just a comit. voters in indonesiaa have gone to the polls to elect a new
>> reporter: about 190 million people are registered to vote. they have cast their ballots at some 480,000 polling stations across the country. >> translator: we need a man who can guide indonesia to further growth while not forgetting poor people. >> reporter: joko is 53 years old. he was born to a poor carpenter and put himself through university while helping his father. he has been governor of jakarta for two years after serving as mayor. his policies have favored the poor and his man of the people style has made him popular with the public. in contrast, the man who's 62 was an elite military man. he was married to a daughter of former president suharto and
supported suharto's regime. he used his military career to launch into politics and sells himself as a strong leader. some exit polls show joko in front by about five points, but others suggest he still has ary lee lead. the lack of consensus on who has won the contest means indonesians may have to wait some time till they find out who is their new president. the two candidates are a stark contrast in political views, what's behind joko's popularity with the public? >> he often visited slums to hear firsthand the concerns of the voter. one of the great symbols of his policy style is medical cart which he issued so they could get free health care. many low income families are
being left behind in the country's booming economy. whoever becomes the president will have to address this policy as joko as done. >> now we have a report about joko's health care team. >> reporter: every morning, hundreds of people fog to this health care center? jakarta. they come for free treatment. the capital health care program now covers more than 5 million residents who don't earn enough to buy insurance. before, they had to pay cash on the spot. >> translator: in the past, we had to think before seeing a doctor. we were afraid about the high cost. >> reporter: joko widodo introduced the pilot project for the nationwide system in november 2012. soon after he became governor.
some residents feel it saved their lives. this woman is among them. she and her husband could not afford insurance. they earn about $10 a day selling vegetables and support seven children. for two years, she felt pain in her breast. she went to hospital as soon as she heard about the program. doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer. she had surgery and got other treatments for free. >> translator: without the program, i don't even know if i'd still be alive now. or at least, i might have been crying because of the pain. >> translator: i think it's very helpful, especially for poor
people like us. >> reporter: however, the pilot program has become a victim of its own success. this center is now overcrowded and short staffed. one doctor sometimes has to see 200 patients a day. >> translator: we do feel exhausted. but we must keep up our spirits to help people. we can make people get better with that spirit. >> reporter: central government officials plan to phase in the single-payer insurance program. they want it in place nationwide by 2019. they haven't agreed on how many people will be qualified for 100% coverage or what the income threshold will be. but they say the system is here to stay.
>> translator: this program is a mandate of the constitution so whoever leads the government, it will continue. >> reporter: but it's an expensive commitment. analysts with world bank estimated the program will cost up to $60 million annually once fully implemented. working out the details and figuring out how to fund the system will be an unavoidable challenge for indonesia's next president. jun yotsumoto, nhk world, jakarta. >> new why has francisco caught up with j oko in the last
campaign? >> suharto is called the father of indonesia's -- he attracts millions of dollars to help the country. he was fired from the military over his alleged involvement in abducting democratic activities in 1997 and 1998. human rilings groups say if he is elected, the democratic system will fall. what does it take? opinions are divided. >> don't forget it was only 16 years ago that we had one of the world's longest serving authoritarian leaders. between 1998 after the fall of
suharto, to 2002, people were concerned about the break youp of indonesia. i think this election will change where this country is going in terms of its democratic consolation differently. if that is called historic, then so be it. >> reporter: indonesia is also attracting global attention as an attractive investment market. how might the new president make the country more attractive to investors? >> the biggest challenge is to improve infrastructures. chronic traffic congestion and aging highway it's the country's widening wealth gap and deep rooted corruption are hampering stable growth. both parties are planning to invoke similar policies. >> thank you very much.
voting is over in indonesia and we now wait to find out who will lead this fledgling democracy. one candidate casts himself as a strong leader. the other promises a new style of leadership more moderate and in touch with ordinary people. official results of the election will be available in two weeks time. whoever wins will help shape the future of this huge country. and that's all from jakarta and our presidential election coverage. rockets have been fired at israeli cities. israel's large scale offensive
began on tuesday in retaliation for rocket attacks on gaza. the israeli military says it has bombed more than 400 sites in the area. on wednesday a funeral was held in a gaza town for a family of six, including a 16-year-old girl. a gaza health official says the air strikes have killed at least 28 people and injured more than 200. among the victims were women and children as well as hamas members. the israeli military says militants of gaza have fired 45 rockets with a range of 160 kilometers since tuesday night. the rockets hit tel aviv and other heavily populated cities along the mediterranean coast and have even reached jerusalem.
ukraine's leader is taking stock of his recent military success in planning his next month. the president made a surprise visit. government forces recently recaptured the town from pro-russian militants. poroshenko spoke to soldiers who took part in the battle. he said ukraine's independence is at stake and he added he is ready to hold talks with whoever is willing to lay down arms. poroshenko also met residents of the town and promised to restore damaged infrastructure. government troops have taken back at least six towns that pro-russian militants used as strongholds. the militants are concentrating their forces in the central cities of donetsk and luhansk. the national security and defense council announced on tuesday the military is preparing to encircle those cities. the united states and china have started high level talks, but it is clear both sides expect quite different results. china has urged the u.s. to respect it's sovereignty and territory. while american leaders are demanding china act responsibly.
the two day economic dialogue opened in beijing with secretary of state john kerry and treasury secretary jack lew heading the dell indication. the chinese leader said that the pacific ocean has ample space to accommodate the two great nations. he said the two sides should strengthen trust through dialogue and seek to build a new model of superpower relations. >> translator: we should treat each other with respect and protect each other's sovereignty and territory. and respect the path of development each chooses. >> we welcome the emergence of the peaceful, stable, prosperous china that contributes to the stability and the development of the region and that chooses to play a responsible role in world affairs. >> kerry said that a new model of relations is not defined in
words, but in actions. authorities in north korea have again fired projectiles into the sea. early wednesday morning, two short range ballistic missiles landed in the sea of japan. there are no reports of damage. the officials say the north koreans conducted the launch near the southwestern province. they say both missiles flew about 500 kilometers toward the northeast. they believe both were scuds. officials in seoul say that north koreans want to demonstrate their ability to fire missiles at any time and from any place. during the last few months, officials in pyongyang have launched a series of rockets.
over the last few months, authorities in pyongyang have staged a series of launches. japanese defense ministry onodera says he plans to raise the issue with defense secretary chuck hagel. >> translator: i think it's difficult to understand pyongyang's actions as japan and north korea are trying to resolve the abduction issues and open the door for dialogue. >> chief cabinet secretary yoshihide suga. said it's against u.n. resolutions. the operator of fukushima daichi has given reporters -- the plan is a new way to contain radioactive wastewater. engineers have designed an ice wall to keep ground water from seeping into the facilities and become contaminated. they plan to freeze soil over a 1 1/2 kilometer stretch around the reactors. workers are digging 30 meter
deep holes to install cooling pipes. they're also adding metal pipes that will protect them. they'll begin to freeze the soil next march if the project goes as planned. crews are also trying to stop contaminated water from flowing into the ocean. they're trying to freeze the water in a tunnel but they haven't been successful in more than two months. the nuclear regulation authority has raised concerns that the ice wall will have the same problem. but the chief of the plan says that the project uses two different methods. >> translator: we have confirmed through our verification tests that the soil does freeze, so i think at this point, the ice wall project will work. >> officials say the ice wall in the tunnel will interact at some point. analysts say that if crews aren't able to freeze water inside the tunnel, it could delay the construction.
importing natural gas from russia through the ocean in 2018. company executives say they will join an lng project underway in the peninsula in russia. they will build three ice breaker tankers. lng will be shipped to asia year round. the water way through the arctic ocean is drawing high expectations. that arctic route would reduce shipping time between asia and europe by about 10 days compared to the suez canal route. construction teams in okinawa are getting ready to build a u.s. marine corps base after many years of protest. but a report by a japanese
environmental group is raising questions about the project's viability. the nature conservation stoet of japan says the result could then an endangered species. >> reporter: it's located in the central part of okinawa's main island. but people living nearby have been pushing for it to be moved. they say there's a constant whir of aircraft and crimes by u.s. servicemen have fueled their anger. leaders in japan and the u.s. agreed to redraw the map of the american facilities in japan. they announced a plan to move the base to the less populated
area of hanoko. but that plan has proved to be controversial. it requires construction crews to reclaim land and some people have expressed concern about how that might affect the environment. at the center of the debate are endangered marine mammals. they have been spotted in the area on many occasions. defense ministry officials claimed the project would have only a limited impact on the local ecosystem. they press okinawa governor to approve the project. and late last year, he did with provisions to ensure the project won't affect animals living in the area. he gave the green lights to start building the base after years of debate. but big questions remain about the impact it will have on the environment.
a conservation group held a news conference wednesday in tokyo. the chairman of the national conservation society of japan says they have found evidence of the endangered mammal. he said a survey in the spring turned up more than 110 new bite marks on sea plants in the area. >> translator: we can see how this coastal area is beneficial for the mammal. the government should conduct more research. >> reporter: after the animals feed, a unique mark is left behind on the sea plant. members of the group say that the marks have been detected over the years and have been increasing since may. they say this shows the coastal area must be a feeding ground for the animal. the group is going to call on
the government to scrub the project and will investigate the area. senior government officials are planning to conduct a coastal drilling project soon before starting work to reclaim the land of honoko. our meteorologist jonathan oh is back with the rest of the world weather. jonathan? >> hello, let's begin with a look at europe. we have a couple of low pressure systems that have continued to dominate the central portions of the continent, meanwhile high pressure in the skachscandinavi moving the system along. what that means is there's going to be a prolong ped period of the same type of weather for the next couple of days. here's a look now at the surface features, low pressure continues to the dominate areas like
france, germany and down to italy and also eastward into poland. and as we go throughout thursday, plenty of rainfall expected going throughout the day. that rain chance expands all the way into moscow and kiev, highs will be around 20 degrees. we're talking about some storms in the americas. you can see the low pressure system located in southern canada with a cold front extending downing into the deep south. the front was responsible for producing storms with lots of hail and a tornado tour were reported out of pennsylvania. this testimony has it pushes toward the east, will bring some scattered showers and storms all along the eastern seaboard, down at the tail end of this system, along with the low pressure system moving in will open the door for a chance for strong storms in the central plains. so expecting another rocky day over into denver, also into oklahoma city, highs will be in the low 30s down into oklahoma
and the eastern seaboard will also see a chance for some scattered storms. meanwhile a little bit cooler in chicago, but sunny and pleasant. highs of around 22 under sunny skies. here's a look at the forecast for east asia, the rainy season front, you can't forget about this, it is bringing a lot of rain into the northern portions of japan. also a lot of rain down into southeastern china and this will be a problem because down in this region, 120 millimeters of rainfall expected during the next 24 hours. more flooding, more landslides as part of the picture. expecting rain and thunderstorms down into manilla, again the monsoonal front continues to dump range during the afternoon hours and tokyo, you'll be getting in on the rain with a high of 30 degrees. let's wrap things up with a pleasant note, when it comes to the world cup. unfortunately, the weather will be cooperating with the semifinal game between the